The US Department of Justice is conducting a preliminary investigation into whether Uber may have bribed foreign officials.
The preliminary probe was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and an Uber spokesperson confirmed it, saying it was cooperating with the department’s inquiries.
The Journal reported that federal investigators are looking into claims that the $69 billion ride-hailing company may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans bribing foreign officials for business purposes.
Currently, Uber operates in more than 75 countries worldwide. It’s unclear whether this investigation is limited to just one country or actions in several.
The DOJ’s preliminary query into Uber is the latest in a string of federal investigations into the world’s most valuable tech startup this year. The company recently agreed to a series of privacy audits after settling a FTC investigation into its security practices. Federal investigators are also evaluating the company’s use of a tool called “Greyball”, which it used to evade regulators in cities that were trying to block the service.
The look into Uber’s foreign operations also adds another potential headache for its incoming CEO. On Sunday, Uber’s board offered the top job to Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia. He has yet to be officially named the new CEO, but described the job to Bloomberg in an interview earlier on Tuesday as the “opportunity of a lifetime”.
Forbes | Tuesday, 29 August, 2017